Friday, September 23, 2011

SBC might change its name

Baptist Press announced earlier this week that the Southern Baptist Convention will consider a name change to the denomination. I don’t have a strong opinion on this one way or the other, but I also don't see how it would hurt for a Task Force to revisit the idea.

I highly respect our current SBC President Bryant Wright and agree when he says, “With our focus on church planting, it is challenging in many parts of the country to lead churches to want to be part of a convention with such a regional name.”

Almost immediately, Dr. Alber Mohler responded with some reasons it may be time for a name change.

But for me, the most surprising statistic comes from Ed Stetzer, Director of Lifeway Research:
“The Southern Baptist identity simply does not resonate as well with adults age 18 to 24. More than 40 percent of respondents in this group said knowing a church was Southern Baptist would negatively affect their decision to visit or join the church.”
That statistic is staggering. I wonder what has given young adults such a bad impression?

At any rate, this doesn’t mean any local church would have to change their name. As best I can tell, the SBC label might even help our church a little, giving name recognition to military families who move here from the South and are searching for a new church to settle.

But you will notice that no church plants are putting “Southern Baptist” in their name today. Far more common are thematic names like The Rock Church, Soma Church, Cross Community Church, The Well, Mosaic Church, Sandals Church, etc. This should at least tell our convention something about its branding.

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